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Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

G/C Bradley Bozeman
G/C Bradley Bozeman

Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:

The Ravens' most underrated player through eight games in 2020? Nick Boyle is always a candidate, but I'd nominate guard Bradley Bozeman, who has become a solid performer and dependable presence in a year when injuries and Marshal Yanda's retirement have caused uncertainty in the rest of the offensive line.

Biggest surprise of 2020? I'd go with safety DeShon Elliott replacing Earl Thomas III without the defense so much as blinking. Elliott's teammates were confident he was ready to fill those big shoes, but he'd played minimal snaps in his first two seasons due to injuries. His teammates were right.

Worst moment of 2020? That's easy. When All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley was carted off with a season-ending ankle injury just two days after signing a huge contract extension, some speculated the Ravens' Super Bowl hopes had been extinguished. That's going too far. But it's a hurdle, no doubt.

Best moment? Lots of individual plays come to mind, but I'm going with the entire third quarter last Sunday in Indianapolis. The Ravens appeared headed for a problematic defeat after a flat first half, but they found their offensive mojo, and with it, perhaps, a winning blueprint.

Boy, are we ever witnessing a classic affirmation of Ozzie Newsome's mantra that "you can never have enough good cornerbacks." After putting four on injured reserve, the Ravens had to go get help. Appears they did. Green Bay observers say newcomer Tramon Williams played well for the Packers in 2019.

Regarding Lamar Jackson's comment that opponents are calling the Ravens' plays before the snap: It isn't what you want, but after watching the offense play a flat half and an excellent half last Sunday, it sure seems the unit's own execution is a far bigger determinant of how things go.

He didn't win in the end, but it was good to see Joe Flacco light up the Patriots with three touchdown passes while playing for the Jets Monday night. Little has gone right for him since he left Baltimore, but Flacco still throws a prettier pass than just about anyone.

A situation worth monitoring is the uptick in the Ravens' rushing attempts in their past two games. They averaged 30.1 attempts in their first six games before pausing for the bye and taking stock. Since the bye, they've rushed 47 times against the Steelers and 38 times against the Colts.

Interesting to study the Patriots' statistics in search of explanations for why they've fallen to 3-5. They're still making you beat them, as good teams do – no team has committed fewer penalties. But only three teams have lost more turnovers. (They're also missing a pretty successful quarterback.)

Surprised to discover six current Ravens were in the organization when Baltimore last beat the Patriots up there. It was nearly eight years ago, in the 2012 AFC title game. Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Pernell McPhee and Jimmy Smith played. Anthony Levine Jr. was on injured reserve.

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